How long does it take to see results from taking prebiotic supplements?

July 26, 2023 2 min read

How long does it take to see results from taking prebiotic supplements?

The time it takes to see results from taking prebiotic supplements can vary depending on several factors, including the individual's gut microbiome, diet, lifestyle, and the specific prebiotic supplement being used. Generally, it may take a few weeks to several months to see the full benefits of prebiotic supplementation.

A systematic review of clinical trials examining the effects of prebiotics on gut microbiota found that changes in gut microbial composition could occur within days or weeks of initiating prebiotic supplementation, but these changes were often transient and depended on the dose and duration of supplementation. The authors of the review also noted that the health benefits of prebiotics, such as improved digestion and immune function, may take longer to manifest and could require longer-term supplementation.

Another study conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy adults, and found that after four weeks of supplementation with a combination of fructooligosaccharides and galactooligosaccharides, there was a significant increase in bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, which are considered beneficial bacteria, as well as a decrease in potentially harmful bacteria. The participants also reported improvements in gastrointestinal symptoms, such as bloating and constipation, suggesting that the prebiotic supplementation had a positive impact on gut health.

In summary, while changes in gut microbiota can occur within days or weeks of initiating prebiotic supplementation, it may take several weeks or months to see the full benefits of prebiotic supplementation, especially with respect to improving overall gut health. It is essential to speak with a healthcare professional before beginning any prebiotic supplementation to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your individual needs.

References:

  1. Makki, K., Deehan, E. C., Walter, J., & Bäckhed, F. (2018). The Impact of Dietary Fiber on Gut Microbiota in Host Health and Disease. Cell Host & Microbe, 23(6), 705–715. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chom.2018.05.012
  2. Manning, T. S., Gibson, G. R. (2014). Prebiotics. Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, 28(4), 647-658. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpg.2014.07.005
  3. Walton, G. E., van den Heuvel, E. G., Kosters, M. H., Rastall, R. A., Tuohy, K. M., & Gibson, G. R. (2012). A randomised crossover study investigating the effects of galacto-oligosaccharides on the faecal microbiota in men and women over 50 years of age. The British Journal of Nutrition, 107(10), 1466–1475. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511004970


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